Business & Money

Here’s a statistic that illustrates just how bad the recession was: Despite U.S. households gaining $21 trillion in household wealth since 2009, the average family is still poorer than it was in 2007. That’s right, according to research from economists William Emmons and Bryan Noeth of the Center for Household Financial Stability, the average U.S. household’s inflation-adjusted net worth is $626,800, 2% below its 2007 peak of $645,100.

Measure of Household Wealth

The green line in the above chart shows the trajectory of the average household’s inflation adjusted wealth. The red line shows non-inflation adjusted wealth per household, while the blue line shows the total net worth of American households–which is about 11.8% higher than its peak in 2007.

The differences are driven by the fact that the population has grown quite a bit since 2007, so while total wealth has more than recovered, per household wealth has not.


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